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Pook & Pook with Noel Barrett to auction fine clockwork toys and trains
Lineol camouflage car from 150 lots of military toys and figures from the collection of Jose Chase, Portland, Oregon.

DOWNINGTOWN, PA.- On Saturday, March 24, Pook & Pook, Inc., Auctioneers and Appraisers with Noel Barrett Antiques and Auctions, Ltd., will host their fourth joint auction. Beginning at 10 a.m., the 400-lot sale includes an array of clockwork and military toys, cast-iron vehicles, advertising signs, and a few other surprises.

Years of hunting and dealing helped Noel Barrett build both a superior knowledge of his field and a loyal client base, things that made his eventual auction business a hot spot for collectors. Like Barrett, Ronald and Debra Pook started out as antique dealers and became a record setting auction company, handling some of the finest antique furniture, art and decorative accessories on the market.

Ron Pook is excited to continue to expand Pook & Pook’s scope to include more auctions of toys and related material. Noel Barrett’s decades of experience and reputation in the toy world are largely unmatched and provide the backbone for this partnership. Similarly, Barrett’s smaller auction house benefits from Pook & Pook’s infrastructure and strong online and media presence. The spring toy sale builds on this ideal collaboration.

Saturday morning’s session begins with a significant group of military figures from the collection of Jose Chase, of Portland, Oregon. An army of composition wartime soldiers will cross the block by such makers as Lineol and Elastolin/Hausser. The soldiers represent the Revolutionary War, WWI and WWII. They depict soldiers in action, some with gas masks; seated and standing figures with rifles, binoculars, etc., and wounded men. Additional pieces include other essential wartime characters such as nurses, dogs, musicians, and horses. Personality figures, including many “bad guys” from WWII (Hitler, Mussolini, Goebbels, and Goering, et al.) are included, as well. There are many wartime accessories, such as trenches, bomb blasts, warships, fighter planes, tanks, flame-throwers, Howitzers and battery-operated searchlights. A considerable number of lots come with their original boxes.

Next up will be a diverse selection of other toys, both European and American, including three Marklin toys in exceptional condition, including an Electric Tramway trolley, train station and double-globe street lamp from the Owl’s Tale’s (Haddonfield, N.J.) traditional Christmas window collection. An outstanding last-minute addition to the sale is a scarce circa-1910 Marklin painted tin clockwork musical carousel with original tassel-bordered cloth canopy. “It’s the only one Joe Freeman has ever seen, and in his many years as the top expert in antique toy repair, he has seen just about every rare European production,” Noel Barrett said. Estimate: $30,000-$40,000.

Saturday’s sale continues with other whimsical toys to delight bidders, including a collection of sleighs, toboggans, wagons, pull toys, tricycles and hand-painted sleds. Highlights include a circa-1870 hand-propelled, carved and painted horse velocipede, est. $2,000-3,000) and an extensive hobby-horse selection. Other nostalgic playtime essentials include a variety of painted figures from the Philadelphia-based Schoenhut toy company. These lots will include a dollhouse with accessories, and various animal figures, such as a kangaroo, elephant and zebra, among others. Also worthy of mention is the circa-1903 Schoenhut Jolly Jiggers dancing toy in excellent condition, $1,200-$1,600). A French Tete Jumeau bisque-head doll is complete with its original beaded outfit and leather shoes, $1,500-$2,500.

Forty-five lots from the Bill & Stevie Weart collection are featured next. Most are book examples from the Wearts’ classic reference Cast Iron Automotive Toys. Bidders can look forward to rare items such as a Niederst Co. cast-iron steam shovel, $5,000-$8,000; a near-mint cast-iron police motorcycle, $1,000-$1,500; and a cast-iron Buick formerly of the Perelman Toy Museum in Philadelphia, $600-$800. Additional cast-iron items in the Weart collection include buses, cabs, motorcycles, trucks, tractors and even a hearse.

The sale will conclude with more than 80 lots from the collection of David P. Merkel, a prominent local collector who ran a booth at Renninger’s antique market in Adamstown, Pennsylvania, for 25 years before his death in 2015. A variety of cast-iron and pressed-steel vehicles are the bulk of the Merkel collection, with a number of examples by Hubley and Buddy ‘L.’ Hubley items include a cast-iron and tin clockwork Ferris wheel bank, $2,000-$3,000, as well as a number of Hubley motorcycles, tractors and trucks.

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